Junior Red Sticks eye JWC crown

KUALA LUMPUR: Spain have been one of the world's top hockey-playing nations for more than a century, but they have never won any major titles like the Olympics and World Cup.

Or even the Junior World Cup (JWC).

They were three-time Olympic silver medallists and twice World Cup runners-up.

The Red Sticks, however, have won the European championship twice - in Madrid (1974) and Leipzig (2005) and the Champions Trophy in Lahore (2004).

Spain have featured in all 12 JWC and their best result was winning bronze in Rotterdam in 2005.

Spain skipper Andreas Rafi said their mission in the JWC in Kuala Lumpur is to capture the elusive title.

"We have been one of the top hockey nations for quite long, but we just don't have the luck to win titles.

"We are well prepared this time and we hope to create history in Kuala Lumpur," he said.

Rafi, who missed the 2021 JWC in Bhubaneswar, India, due to a back injury, said they face a strong challenge from India and they have not played Canada and South Korea for some time.

"We do not know much about the strength of these two nations," he said.

Spain will open their Group C campaign against Canada today.

The junior Red Sticks met Canada three times previously, and won all the matches.

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